Representing and Evaluating Legal Narratives with Subscenarios in a Bayesian network

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


In legal cases, stories or scenarios can serve as the context for a crime when reasoning with evidence. In order to develop a scientifically founded technique for evidential reasoning, a method is required for the representation and evaluation of various scenarios in a case. In this paper the probabilistic technique of Bayesian networks is proposed as a method for modeling narrative, and it is shown how this can be used to capture a number of narrative properties.

Bayesian networks quantify how the variables in a case interact. Recent research on Bayesian networks applied to legal cases includes the development of a list of legal idioms: recurring substructures in legal Bayesian networks. Scenarios are coherent presentations of a collection of states and events, and qualitative in nature. A method combining the quantitative, probabilistic approach with the narrative approach would strengthen the tools to represent and evaluate scenarios.

In a previous paper, the development of a design method for modeling multiple scenarios in a Bayesian network was initiated. The design method includes two narrative idioms: the scenario idiom and the merged scenarios idiom. In this current paper, the method of Vlek (2013) is extended with a subscenario idiom and it is shown how the method can be used to represent characteristic features of narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative (CMN 2013)
EditorsM. A. Finlayson, B. Fisseni, B. Löwe, J. C. Meister
Place of PublicationDagstuhl
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2014 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 4-Aug-20136-Aug-2013


Workshop2014 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative


  • Bayesian networks
  • Reasoning with evidence
  • Narrative

Cite this